On the morning of June 9th, the body of Christof May was found in a forest near the city of Runkel in Germany. A search operation had began when he went missing the day before and a suicide note was found.
May was head of the Catholic seminary in Limburg. A statement from the diocese said:
“The events have shaken us in the diocese of Limburg and far beyond. Death hits us hard, causes dismay and bewilderment and leaves many questions. The sincere sympathy of the diocese goes to the family of the deceased. At the same time, our thoughts are with those who reported the allegations.”
The Limburg prosecutor’s office confirmed May died of suicide.
“After the extensive investigations, there are no indications of third-party negligence or a criminal act that led to the death of the deceased.”
The day before he was declared missing, Bishop Georg Bätzing relieved him of all duties and notified him of an investigation into “accusations of abusive behavior” was beginning.
May went viral on German social media in 2020 for a so-called “potato sermon” in which he called for sacraments to remarried couples, ordination of women, non-Catholics to take part in Communion, and an understanding of same-sex relationships.
Earlier this year in a sermon, he said he had doubts about his vocation.
“Every evening on the edge of the bed I have to say: ‘Christof, you haven’t brought it back to the chain.'”
Photo: Fair Use, Bistum Limburg via Pfarrei St. Blasius im Westerwald